US Economy

CIC president cautious but warming to US

Gao Xiqing, vice chairman, president and chief investment officer of China Investment Corp. Photo: Bloomberg

China's US$500 billion sovereign wealth fund is more optimistic about the United States economy than those of Europe and Japan, although it is generally cautious about the outlook for major economies.

Thursday, 7 March, 2013, 6:17am

Weak Western growth to hit cargo demand

Orient Overseas (International) Limited's Chief Financial Officer Ken Cambie.

Anaemic growth in the US and little improvement in Europe's economic conditions will make 2013 as "challenging" as last year for Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), the financial head of the shipping line's parent company said yesterday.

7 Mar 2013 - 6:12am

US budget battle is a playground fight with no winners

Washington, currently the scene of a schoolyard fight

Alice Rivlin, the former vice-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, hit the nail on the head when she compared the struggle over US budget cuts to a playground fight by schoolchildren.

6 Mar 2013 - 5:05am

World's economies need US budget compromise

US President Barack Obama and the congress should lay antipathy aside in negotiations for renewing government funding and lifting the country's debt ceiling. Photo: AP

Barring a breakthrough like "grand bargains" of the past, Washington will implement US$85 billion in spending cuts by September and US$1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Economists say this could trim US growth by more than 0.5 per cent this year, which is not good news for the rest of the world. Ironically, there is a bittersweet note to it, with good news on US manufacturing and consumer spending, which are key to global recovery.

4 Mar 2013 - 3:27am

America's high-stakes gamble on spending cuts

President Barack Obama and the House Speaker John Boehner, who failed to reach a deal to avoid the sequester. Photo: NYT

A decade of budget deficits run up in war and economic crisis has saddled the government with a US$16 trillion debt. Now the government is about to start cutting spending in some programmes, offering a first look at how the US people will react.

3 Mar 2013 - 5:49am

Ben Bernanke says raising US interest rates early risks economic growth

Ben Bernanke

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signalled he would keep the Fed's target interest rate low to support the economy, even as some colleagues warned the policy risks triggering financial market instability.

3 Mar 2013 - 6:30am

Obama blames Republicans for ‘dumb’ budget cuts

Obama speaks about the sequester in Washington. Photo: Reuters

President Barack Obama on Friday branded the automatic budget cuts about to slam into the US economy as “dumb” and “unnecessary” but blamed Republicans for the failure to avert them.

2 Mar 2013 - 4:45am 2 comments

Long slog to lower US jobless rate: Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has warned against expecting US unemployment to fall overnight, saying it might take three years for the rate to fall to six per cent, the top of the Fed’s long-term forecast range. Photo: Xinhua

The US jobless rate is unlikely to reach more normal levels for several years, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said as he again defended the central bank’s forceful easing of monetary policy.

28 Feb 2013 - 10:41am

US, Japan focus on trade to boost both economies

Shinzo Abe seen on a television camera monitor. Photo: AFP

In White House discussions on Friday, US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took up a range of security concerns. But their minds were largely focused on one thing: getting their economies growing more rapidly.

24 Feb 2013 - 5:34am

Threat of spending cuts a sign of Washington's political impasse

US President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to Republicans again not to let budget cuts derail the US economy. Photo: AP

The White House and independent analysts fear the so-called sequester could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and crimp already slow economic growth. There is little hope in Washington that it can be averted.

22 Feb 2013 - 2:48am

China says it is not top trading nation

China has denied reports it passed the United States as the largest trading nation, saying that it still trails when the values of goods are calculated using comparable free-on-board (FOB) prices. Photo: Bloomberg

China has denied reports it passed the United States as the largest trading nation, saying that it still trails when the values of goods imported and exported by both countries are calculated using comparable free-on-board (FOB) prices.

14 Feb 2013 - 4:53am

Obama needs to find consensus in second term

US President Barack Obama. Photo: AP

A second-term US president's first state-of-the-union address after re-election is traditionally a rallying cry to unite the country behind a common goal and build a legacy on the foundations of the first term. President Barack Obama cited the clearing of the "rubble" of [financial] crisis as the foundation for a wider agenda that fleshed out the populist themes of his inauguration address. The item that people everywhere will empathise with, after the horror of a massacre of small schoolchildren, is the reform of gun controls. The one that matters to the world economy, however, is how to deal with a budget deficit and national debt without threatening growth and recovery.

14 Feb 2013 - 1:29am

US to launch free trade talks with EU

The United States will open talks with Europe to launch what would be the world's largest free trade zone.

Answering mounting calls from the European Union to pursue a grand trade pact to spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic, Obama said the proposed treaty would help boost American exports and jobs.

14 Feb 2013 - 4:53am

A world without America as No 1

A world without America as No 1

Long before anyone else, former US president Bill Clinton saw that America would have to prepare for the time when it would no longer be the No 1 power in the world. In his 2003 Yale University address on "Global Challenges", he said: "If you believe that maintaining power and control and absolute freedom of movement and sovereignty is important to your country's future, there's nothing inconsistent in [the US continuing to behaving unilaterally].

14 Feb 2013 - 1:29am 6 comments

China overtakes US to become biggest trading nation

China has overtaken US to become the world's biggest trading nation in goods. Photo: Bloomberg

China's customs administration said the combined total for imports and exports in Chinese goods reached US$3.87 trillion in 2012, edging past the US$3.82 trillion trade in goods registered by the US Commerce Department.

12 Feb 2013 - 5:29am